Lyndale Liner's Newsletter

Lyndale Blog - October 2018

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Border Problems

I wrote last month of the frustrations building over a number of simmering issues at the plant importer/grower/MPI interface.

I mentioned the situation with Import Health Standards and the fact that MPI have not resourced the continual updating of these important standards and they certainly have not developed new ones.

This is all undeniably true, but wait there is more, and yes, you guessed correctly, it is worse, much worse.

Since about May 2018 MPI appear to have not issued a permit to import live plants, to anyone.

Why, you might ask? The answer MPI will give you is that due to the current litigation against them, their in-house legal advisors have advised MPI not to issue any permits to import.

What does this mean? It means that if you are a retailer and are used to having a steady supply of indoor plants to sell such as Sansevieria (Mother In Laws Tongue) or a braided Pachira aquatica (Braided Mexican Money Tree) or a decorative Dracaena, you will be finding out pretty soon that you will have some additional shelf space to fill up with something else.

The above few mentioned plants are part of a group of plant products that have until recently, been regularly imported into NZ as semi-finished plants.

They enter the country, spend the next 3 months or so in quarantine where they grow and get over the recent transport shock, and are then progressed to be retail ready.

But as there are no permits being issued, the steady stream of plants has stopped.

The example I have used is specific to those growers producing indoor plants, but there is a myriad of growers who require permits to import plant material into the country and we are all frustrated by MPI's unilateral action of taking plant imports off the menu for several weeks - processing of import permit applications started again late last week, but the backlog will take some time to get through!

MPI and Industry met Thursday 27th. Called by industry members and chaired by NZPPI, it had as agenda items, the following:
Delays in Inspection and border clearance, Pelleted seed testing, GMO testing, Import Health Standards, and the future of plant imports.

All fairly substantial topics and ones that can change our industry overnight. Sadly once again NZPPI, an industry representative organization funded by its members, is seeking answers and setting up forums to seek benefits and understanding on an industry wide basis.

I used the word sadly, because the insight and membership funded actions of a minority are paying for a benefit to a wider forum.

While I have the occasional divergence of opinion over NZPPI priorities, I am pleased they exist and are here to interface between the ever increasing incursions made by government departments into our business lives.

Going into any meeting with bureaucrats, from the position of someone with skin in the game, it is always important to remember that the salaries of bureaucrats appear in their bank accounts every fortnight. They cannot, however they might try or pretend to, understand the industry's concerns, it is simply an abstraction to them.

What they do, their actions, has no tangible impact on any of them personally.


Growers frustration boiling over

Even more red tape!

Stock Shortages

Early spring demand has highlighted how shallow the industry wide plant offering has become.

Basically retailers and landscapers alike are finding rather suddenly that if you did not have stock ordered you are probably not going to get any.

Even if you did have it ordered, you may only see a percentage of what you wanted as growers ration what stock they have available.

There is nothing new here and growers have been talking about short supply for some time, as more Mitre 10 and Bunnings stores get built demanding more of the same and more houses get built where nurseries once stood, ensuring there is less depth of plant range on offer, and generally fewer growers to provide volume.

Added to this is the segregation in the industry between revegetation growers and growers of ornamental plants.

The revege grower's continue to scrap over price in a downward spiral as the tantalising aspiration of the Billion Tree project still fails to result in real contracts.

Lyndale continues to supply young plants to growers of revegetation lines and to growers of ornamental lines who grow on to supply retail and landscape users.

Bottom line, it is of no surprise that a shortage of plants is upon us.


Empty shelves a looming possibility

Noooooooo plants!

Lyndale's Numbers

We also are struggling with numbers, and are short of saleable plants on the ground, as we too have focused on what is on order and what sells.

To answer a frequently asked question, what was our biggest selling plant last year?

By volume Lomandra 'Tanika' by a country mile!

That is not to say that other plants would not be challenging for the top spot if we had the same success with the production system that we enjoy with L. 'Tanika'.


Lomandra 'Tanika'

Next Month

Reading some online blogs can be fun and amusing.

Surprisingly I find that even gardeners that claim to have some experience, struggle with issues as simple as plant placement.

Next month I will share what we have learnt about growing Hellebores.

Kind regards
Malcolm and the Lyndale Team


Even experienced gardeners
struggle with placement

Lyndale Nurseries

Post PO Box 81 022, Whenuapai, Auckland
Street 82 Trig Rd, Whenuapai, Auckland
Phone 09 416 8482
Fax 09 416 9268
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